Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

May 2022: Oregon Governor Signs Bill on Incentives, Bonuses, and Equal Pay Requirements

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Oregon.

What happened?
On March 7, 2022, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1514 (SB 1514) into law, extending the expiration date of temporary amendments to Oregon’s Equal Pay Act.

What are the details?
To provide employers with greater flexibility in attracting and retaining workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oregon legislature amended Oregon’s Equal Pay Act in 2021 to temporarily exclude vaccine incentives, hiring bonuses, and retention bonuses from the Act’s definition of “compensation” for purposes of pay equity requirements.

Those amendments were set to expire on March 1, 2022; however, SB 1514 extends the expiration date of those amendments until “the 180th day following the expiration or termination of the declaration of a state of emergency issued by the Governor on March 8, 2020.”

Effective immediately upon Governor Brown’s signature on March 7, 2022, Oregon employers may offer vaccine incentives, hiring bonuses, and retention bonuses until 180 days (August 28, 2022) after the expiration of the COVID-19 state of emergency without running afoul of the Equal Pay Act.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 1514 (SB 1514)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and take advantage of this time to offer incentives and bonuses before the expiration date on August 28, 2022.

April 2022: Oregon Rule Expands Reasons Employees Can Take Emergency Paid Leave

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Oregon.

What happened?
March 21, 2022, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) adopted a permanent rule, BLI 3-2022, that expands the reasons employees can use leave under Oregon’s paid sick and safe leave law during a public health emergency.

What are the details?
Under the permanent rule, eligible employees may take protected sick leave for absences connected to:

  1. an emergency evacuation order of level 2 (SET) or level 3 (GO) issued by a public official with the authority to do so, if the affected area subject to the order includes either the location of the employer’s place of business or the employee’s home address; or
  2. a determination by a public official with the authority to do so that the air quality index or heat index is at a level where continued exposure to such levels would jeopardize the employee’s health.

BOLI’s permanent rule expanding paid sick and safe leave is identical to its temporary rule in effect from August 6, 2021, through January 17, 2022. On December 29, 2021, BOLI filed a notice of the proposed permanent rule. In its rulemaking report, BOLI stated that it received no public comment during the four-week comment period or testimony at the public rulemaking hearing.

Effective April 1, 2022, during a public emergency, eligible employees can also use protected paid sick leave for the following reasons:

  1. closure of the employee’s place of business, or the school or place of care of the employee’s child, by order of a public official due to a public health emergency;
  2. a determination by a lawful public health authority or by a health care provider that the presence of the employee or the employee’s family member in the community would jeopardize the health of others, such that the employee must provide self-care or care for the family member; or
  3. the exclusion of the employee from the workplace under any law or rule that requires the employer to exclude the employee from the workplace for health reasons.

For more information, please see the links below:

BLI 3-2022

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and make immediate adjustments to their paid leave policy to be in compliance with the new rule.

March 2022: Oregon Lifts Mask Mandate for Indoor and Public Settings

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Oregon

What happened?
On February 28, 2022, Governor Brown announced that, in concert with the governors of California and Washington, indoor mask requirements will be lifted on March 11, 2022.

What are the details?
Effective March 11, 2022, individuals will no longer be required to wear masks in indoor and public settings.

People may continue to wear masks in public settings however, and health officials strongly recommend people who are at high risk for severe disease continue to wear masks in public places.

On February 22, 2022, The Oregon Health Authority announced that masks will continue to remain mandatory in healthcare settings.

For more information, please see the links below:

Oregon Health Guidance Announcement

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Announcement

OHA Mask Recommendations and Requirements

OHA Mask Requirement FAQs (Updated March 1, 2022)

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and continue to do their best to ensure the safety of their employees and guests.

Employers are encouraged to reach out to local health departments in case of any specific city/county mandates in place.

Oregon’s New Bill Prohibits Discrimination of Hairstyles of Employees

Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Oregon

What happened?
On June 11, 2021, Governor Kate Brown signed House Bill 2935 (HB 2935) into law, prohibiting discrimination based on hairstyles associated with a person’s race.

What are the details?
HB 2935, also known as “the CROWN ACT,” prohibits discrimination based on protective hairstyles. Protective hairstyles are defined as “hair color or manner of wearing hair that includes, but is not limited to, braids, regardless of whether the braids are created with extensions or styled with adornments, locs, and twists.”

The law also expands the definition of “race” under ORS 659A to include “physical characteristics that are historically associated with race, including but not limited to natural hair, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.” The CROWN Act specifically applies to Oregon employers and public schools.

The CROWN Act also addresses dress codes that may have a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a protected class. Oregon anti-discrimination act, ORS 659A, does not prohibit employers from enforcing an otherwise valid dress code or policy so long as the policy provides reasonable accommodations. The CROWN Act further specifies that the dress code or policy must not have a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a protected class to a greater extent than the policy impacts persons generally.

The CROWN Act has been in effect since January 1, 2022.

For more information, please see the links below:

House Bill 2935

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and be mindful and provide employees a place free of discrimination, but also take into consideration a reasonable dress code policy.

September 2021 Oregon HR Legal Updates

Oregon’s Vaccination Rule for Healthcare Workers is Updated

Update Applicable to:

Employers with healthcare providers and staff in Oregon.

What happened?

On August 25, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) changed the temporary rule for healthcare worker vaccinations.

What are the details?

The rule changes, effective immediately and through January 31, 2022, remove the periodic testing requirement entirely and now require full vaccination against COVID-19 for any healthcare workers in healthcare settings, or for healthcare workers to provide their employer with documentation of a medical or religious exception on or before October 18, 2021.

By October 18, 2021, employers of healthcare providers and healthcare staff must have documentation of their employees’ full vaccination. Employers must keep the documentation of vaccination or medical/religious exceptions for at least two years and provide them to OHA upon request. After October 18, healthcare providers and healthcare staff who are not fully compliant will not be able to “work, learn, study, assist, observe, or volunteer in a healthcare setting.” Employers may also not employ, contract with, or accept the volunteer services of healthcare providers or healthcare staff persons who are not fully compliant.

The rule change can be read here.

An article on the rule change can be read here.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review the changes brought to the vaccination rule by the OHA and review their vaccination plans and policies to make any applicable adjustments to stay in compliance.

August 2021 Oregon HR Legal Updates

Temporary Rule Requiring Healthcare Worker Vaccinations in Oregon

Update Applicable to:
Employers with healthcare providers and staff in Oregon.

What happened?
On August 5, 2021, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) enacted a temporary rule for COVID-19 prevention measures.

What are the details?
Effective immediately and through January 31, 2022, the temporary rule requires healthcare personnel and healthcare staff who work in healthcare settings to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis at a minimum. The standards set by the rule must be met and implemented by September 30, 2021.

The workers covered in the rule are individuals —either paid or unpaid—who work, learn, assist, observe, or volunteer in a “healthcare setting” and who are “providing direct patient or resident care” or are potentially exposed to patients, residents, or infectious materials. This includes traditional healthcare providers (e.g., physicians and nurses), but it also includes “unlicensed caregivers” and employees working in clerical, security, billing, and administrative functions, among others, in healthcare settings.

The healthcare settings covered by the rule include any place where physical or behavioral health care is delivered. Included are nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, adult foster homes, residential facilities, residential behavioral health facilities, pharmacies, hospice, vehicles or temporary sites where health care is delivered (for example, mobile clinics, ambulances), and outpatient facilities (e.g dialysis centers, health care provider offices, behavioral health care offices, urgent care centers, counseling offices, as well as chiropractic or acupuncture clinics.

The rule also requires Oregon employers of healthcare providers or healthcare staff, contractors, or responsible parties have and follow a policy for

  • Requesting and obtaining proof of vaccination from every healthcare provider and healthcare staff person.
  • Requiring COVID-19 testing “on at least a weekly basis” for healthcare providers and healthcare staff persons who are unvaccinated or whose vaccination status is not known.
  • Maintaining documentation of weekly COVID-19 test results for any healthcare provider or healthcare staff person who is unvaccinated or has an unknown vaccination status.

The rule can be read here.

An article on the rule can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Covered employers should review the temporary rule and update their applicable policies to stay compliant with the COVID-19 guidelines set in place by the rule.

July 2021 Oregon HR Legal Updates

Vaccine Incentives and Hiring Bonuses Temporarily Allowed in Oregon 

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Oregon. 

What happened?
On July 8, 2021, Oregon legislature temporarily amended Oregon’s Equal Pay Act (EPA). 

What are the details?
Oregon’s Equal Pay Act has been temporarily amended to allow employers to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and to attract new employees as the state begins re-opening from COVID-19. Under the revised statute, when evaluating whether employees who perform work of comparable character are paid equitably, a comparison of employee compensation may exclude vaccine incentives. Similarly, hiring and retention bonuses are excluded from the calculation.

The amendment notes that vaccine incentives are excluded for pay comparison purposes on any claims filed after April 29, 2021. It also excludes hiring and retention bonuses for pay comparison purposes on claims and complaints filed after May 25, 2021. Both amendments are due to expire March 1, 2022. 

The revised statute can be read here

An article on the update can be read here. 

What do employers need to do?
Employers should read the information above and the revised statute to properly process any claims on pay comparison filed after April 29, 2021 and hiring or retention bonuses filed after May 25, 2021. 

________________________________________________________________________________ 

Oregon’s Equal Pay Poster Receives Update 

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Oregon. 

What happened?
On June 21, 2021, the Oregon Bureau of Labor updated their Equal Pay notice. 

What are the details?
Oregon updated its Equal Pay notice to reflect that it is unlawful for an employer to pay an employee less than someone else because of their gender, race, veteran status, disability, age, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, or pay history. 

The updated poster can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers in Oregon should update their Equal Pay poster to stay in compliance. The updated poster can be read here

_________________________________________________________________________________

Oregon Updates Paid Sick Time Notice 

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Oregon. 

What happened?
On June 21, 2021, the Oregon Bureau of Labor updated their Paid Sick Time notice. 

What are the details?
Oregon updated its Paid Sick Time notice poster. The updated notice clarifies that paid sick time covers bereavement, parental leave, and leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed for a public health emergency. The poster revision date is June 21, 2021. 

The updated poster can be read here. 

What do employers need to do?
Employers in Oregon should update their Paid Sick Time poster to stay in compliance. The updated poster can be read here

_________________________________________________________________________________

Temporary Heat Standard Issued by Oregon OSHA 

 Update Applicable to:
All employers in Oregon.  

What happened?
On July 8, 2021, Oregon’s OSHA established emergency heat safety requirements.   

What are the details?
Effective immediately, Oregon’s OSHA adopted workplace heat safety requirements that apply when temperatures in a work area reach or exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Additional rules will also apply when the temperature breaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The state will now apply to incidental exposure (less than 15 minutes of exposed work activity in any 60-minute period), to transportation of employees inside vehicles when they are not otherwise performing work, or where other standards apply (e.g., where heat is generated from a work process). These emergency rules will stay in effect until a permanent rule is completed.  

By August 1, 2021, employers must provide training to all employees who can reasonably be anticipated to be exposed to temperatures at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the work area. The training must be in a language readily understood, and include the following:  

  • The environmental and personal risk factors for heat illness, as well as the added burden of heat load on the body caused by exertion, clothing, and personal protective equipment. 
  • The procedures for complying with the requirements of this standard, including the employer’s responsibility to provide water, provide daily heat index information, shade, cool-down rests, and access to first aid as well as the employees’ right to exercise their rights under this standard without fear of retaliation. 
  • The concept, importance, and methods of adapting to working in a hot environment. 
  • The importance of employees immediately reporting symptoms or signs of heat illness in themselves, or in co-workers. 
  • The effects of non-job factors (medications, alcohol, obesity, etc.) on tolerance to workplace heat stress. 
  • The different types of heat-related illness, and the common signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.  

Employees exposed to a work area that is at or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit must be provided a shade area and water that meets the below specifications:  

  • Shade Requirements 
  • Be provided by any natural or artificial means that does not expose employees to unsafe or unhealthy conditions and that does not deter or discourage access or use. 
  • Either be open to the air or provide mechanical ventilation for cooling. 
  • At least accommodate the number of employees on recovery or rest periods, so that they can sit in in the shade. 
  • Be located as close as practical to the areas where employees are working. 
  • Shade present during meal periods must be large enough to accommodate the number of employees on the meal period that remain onsite. 
  • Water Requirements 
  • Be readily accessible to employees at all times and at no cost. 
  • Enable each employee to consume 32 ounces per hour. 
  • Be cool (66-77 degrees Fahrenheit) or cold (35-65 degrees Fahrenheit). 
  • Drinking water packaged as a consumer product and electrolyte-replenishing drinks that do not contain caffeine are acceptable substitutes but should not completely replace the required water. 
  • Employers must also ensure that employees have ample opportunity to drink water.  

When the temperature level rises to above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the below rules apply in addition to the previous rules: 

  • Ensure effective communication between an employee and a supervisor is maintained so that an employee can report concerns.  
  • Ensure that employees are observed for alertness and signs and symptoms of heat illness and monitored to determine whether medical attention is necessary. 
  • Provide a cool-down rest period in the shade of 10 minutes for every two hours of work. These preventative cool-down rest periods may be provided concurrently with any other meal or rest period required by policy, rule, or law. 
  • Develop and implement an emergency medical plan and practices to gradually adapt employees to working in the heat. 

An article on the emergency rules can be read here.  

Documents, resources, and further details on the rules can be read here.  

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the rules and their workplace policies on training and outdoor heat exposure to stay in compliance with the new rules. 

 

 

June 2021 Oregon HR Legal Updates

Oregon Updates Family Leave Act

Update Applicable to:
All employers

What happened?
On June 8, 2021, Governor Brown signed House Bill 2474 into law.

What are the details?
HB 2474 amends the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) to update and expand the law’s eligibility and leave provisions which will take effect on January 1, 2022. The amendments give eligibility to take leave to employees reemployed after a separation or returning after a temporary work cessation within 180 days, expand eligibility and leave entitlements during public health emergencies, and remove gendered language.

Employees who are reemployed after a separation from employment or returning from work after a temporary cessation of scheduled work hours, within 180 days, are now eligible for leave in the following circumstances.

  • Employees reemployed or returning within 180 days who were eligible for OFLA leave at the time of separation from employment or the beginning of their temporary cessation of work will be eligible to take OFLA leave immediately upon reemployment or return.
  • Employees reemployed or returning within 180 days who were not yet eligible for OFLA leave at the time of separation from employment or the beginning of their temporary cessation of work will receive credit for time worked for the employer prior to the break in service for the purpose of establishing eligibility.

Employees returning after a period greater than 180 days must still reestablish eligibility for OFLA anew and will not receive credit for a prior service. While OFLA leave taken by employees who have been reemployed or have returned to work within a one-year period will continue to count toward the employee’s OFLA leave entitlement.

The eligibility of OFLA leave use has been expanded for any qualifying reason during a period of public health emergency to all employees of a covered employer if the employer has employed them for at least 30 days immediately before the leave begins and they worked an average of at least 25 hours per week during the 30 days immediately preceding the leave.

The bill also expands the list of qualifying OFLA reasons to include leave to care for a child of the employee “who requires home care due to the closure of the child’s school or child care provider as a result of a public health emergency.” As well as removing gendered language related to pregnancy and childbirth-related leave which allows any eligible employee may take OFLA leave for an illness, injury, or condition related to the employee’s own pregnancy or childbirth, without regard to gender.

The bill can be read here.

An article on the bill can be found here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should read the above information and update their leave policies as needed.

 ________________________________________________________________________________

Oregon Passes CROWN Act

Update Applicable to:
All employers in Oregon.

What happened?
On June 11, 2021, Oregon Governor Brown signed into law House Bill 2935, also known as the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair),

What are the details?
The act amends the Oregon Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination in employment, by including a new definition of “race” that “includes physical characteristics that are historically associated with race, including but not limited to natural hair, hair texture, hair type, and protective hairstyles.” It further defines “protective hairstyles” to include any “hairstyle, hair color or manner of wearing hair that includes, but is not limited to, braids, regardless of whether the braids are created with extensions or styled with adornments, locks and twists.” Additionally, the act includes provisions regarding employer dress codes. A dress code will now be prohibited if they have a disproportionate adverse impact on members of a protected class.

The bill can be read here.

What do employers need to do?
Employers should update their policies to reflect the new requirements.

 

April 2021 Oregon HR Legal Updates

Oregon Starts COVID-19 Wage Supplement Program

Update Applicable to:
All Oregon Employees.

What happened?
As part of the $200 million of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act funds authorized on July 14, 2020, Oregon has recently started its Quarantine Time Loss Program to help employees working for smaller businesses.

What are the details?
Employees that are required to quarantine as a result of exposure to, or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, are eligible to apply for payments from the State of Oregon. The state offers a program in which employees may apply for up to $120 a day to cover up to 10 working days, for employees who do not qualify for any other form of paid leave related to COVID-19. To be fully eligible employees must fit the following criteria:

  • Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return.
  • Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health-care provider because of exposure to someone infected or have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate.
  • Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020.
  • Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave.
  • Are not applying for unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation.
  • Are not applying for workers’ compensation benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state.
  • Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave.
  • Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer.
  • Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.
  • Can claim only one quarantine period.
  • You are not self-employed.
  • You are not part of the gig economy (Lyft, Uber, DoorDash, Grubhub, Instacart, etc.)
  • You are not being paid off the record—this means your employer is not reporting your income to the state and often employers who pay off the record pay in cash.

Employees who wish to learn more or want to apply for the program can do so by following this link.

What do employers need to do?
Employers do not need to take any action. However, this is a great resource for employees while it lasts, and it may be beneficial for employers to let employees know of the program.

Get 2 Months Free Admin

Schedule a Business Diagnostic and we'll lock in 2 months free admin when you sign with us.

Get 2 Months Free Admin

Schedule a Business Diagnostic and we'll lock in 2 months free admin when you sign with us.

Schedule Your Live Demo

In just 30 minutes you can see what streamlined HR management looks like.

000-VES_LEAD_PEO_INQUIRY_Vfficient-Demo

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
    We will contact you to confirm a time.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.